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New ISO handbook supports SMEs with food safety management

Food safety ranks high on the list of concerns for consumers, regulators, producers and retailers, as evidenced by The ISO Survey of Management System Standard Certifications – 2011, which recorded at least 19 980 ISO 22000:2005 certificates in 140 countries, a growth of 8 % compared to 2010.

This is proof in itself that SMEs appreciate the potential benefits of implementing a food safety management system in accordance with ISO 22000:2005. But due to their size or lack of in-house technical expertise, these small entities are often at a loss when it comes to deploying such a management system.

If you are in charge of implementing a food safety management system in an SME, the new handbook published by ISO, How to use ISO 22000, will help you develop and implement the optimal food safety management system.

Seafood skewers

How to use ISO 22000 provides a pragmatic approach and a wide range of practical information for developing, documenting, implementing and maintaining a robust food safety management system according to ISO 22000:2005, Food safety management systems – Requirements for any organization in the food chain.

The initiative of this publication was born out of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 34/SC 17, Management systems for food safety, whose main concern is to ensure that its work is progressing in a structured manner and in accordance with user needs.

The manual is intended as a handy user-friendly introduction for people involved in setting up a food safety management system in any kind of organization.

By working methodically through the five chapters of the handbook, which also detail the implementation and certification processes, SMEs could greatly improve their in-house procedures and better manage risk.

Each chapter contains objectives that clarify the aim of the section within the standard as well as practical tasks to be completed and a description of the required actions.

How to use ISO 22000 is available as an A5 colour ring-binder or PDF, containing 125 pages in English (ISBN 978-92-10581-9) and French (ISBN 978-92-67-20581-6), from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 38 Swiss francs, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department.


Cover of publication "how to use ISO 22000" showing a tablecloth and a knife and other pictures related to food.

ISO 22000:2005 specifies requirements for a food safety management system where an organization in the food chain needs to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe at the time of human consumption.

It is applicable to all organizations, regardless of size, which are involved in any aspect of the food chain and want to implement systems that consistently provide safe products. The means of meeting any requirements of ISO 22000:2005 can be accomplished through the use of internal and/or external resources.

ISO 22000:2005 specifies requirements to enable an organization

-- to plan, implement, operate, maintain and update a food safety management system aimed at providing products that, according to their intended use, are safe for the consumer,

-- to demonstrate compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory food safety requirements,

-- to evaluate and assess customer requirements and demonstrate conformity with those mutually agreed customer requirements that relate to food safety, in order to enhance customer satisfaction,

-- to effectively communicate food safety issues to their suppliers, customers and relevant interested parties in the food chain,

-- to ensure that the organization conforms to its stated food safety policy,

-- to demonstrate such conformity to relevant interested parties, and

-- to seek certification or registration of its food safety management system by an external organization, or make a self-assessment or self-declaration of conformity to ISO 22000:2005.

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